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Vole control-peanut butter and chocolate
Old 05-03-2021, 06:04 AM   #1
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Vole control-peanut butter and chocolate

Here in the mid-Atlantic we had a mild winter and snow cover-a happy situation for voles. I re-seeded the lawn in the damaged areas, and spring has taken care of most of the damage. This year a colony set up housekeeping under our deck steps. I normally don't do much about voles, but these were too close to our outdoor living space.

We used rat traps as some of the voles were too large for mouse traps. We put the traps by the bottom step and tilted a plastic box over them to keep birds out, and to keep the voles under cover, which they favor. The key was the bait. We took pieces of tootsie roll smeared with peanut butter and jammed them onto the bait spike. The tootsie roll sticks on the spike. In four days of setting two traps this way, we caught seven voles. For the past few days no more have shown up.

I just wanted to share the tootsie roll trick. It works for mice as well.
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Old 05-03-2021, 08:38 AM   #2
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I have moles, and they're a bit of a challenge to "disposition". It's quite tactical to analyze the soil disruption patterns and select trap locations. I'm much better at it now than when I started. They still sometimes make a large foray into the lawn before I notice, but usually I'll see signs they're getting close, and get 'em before they do a lot of damage. The tootsie roll is a good idea for pests that lick a trap. I tried poison worms with moles, but never knew if they did anything.
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Old 05-03-2021, 10:53 AM   #3
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Well, after all these years, I find out via E-R.org who actually eats Tootsie Rolls! Voles do!

When I was a kid, it was a real bummer to trick or treat, and be given future Vole-bait. Maybe Dentists liked them for business generation. I think it was one of the worst candies ever created.

The inventor of the Tootsie Roll shot himself, ended it all for him. I have no idea why, maybe it was remorse and regret.

I just re-read your post, E-W Gal. Maybe the Voles were tricked into it by the allure of peanut butter. So maybe even Voles hate Tootsie Rolls!
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Old 05-03-2021, 12:11 PM   #4
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I also think that voles resist climbing up onto a trap, they stick close to the ground. I had good results with peanut butter, and digging out ~ 1/2" right in the path from under the decking, and positioning the trap so the bait is right at ground level.

The cover that OP mentions is a good idea. I ended up doing that with our gopher traps to help avoid other critters getting into them.

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Old 05-03-2021, 12:33 PM   #5
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The peanut butter attracts them but the tootsie rolls traps their teeth. One yank and it's over.
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Old 05-03-2021, 12:41 PM   #6
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We put out repellent granules with castor oil that I bought on Amazon and with that we seem to be herding them out of the yard. The last mound was at the fence line.
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Old 05-06-2021, 03:20 PM   #7
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We had an issue with voles making a home under the front porch steps last year and found that Tomcat mouse bait worked well. Home Depot and Lowes also sell it. They didn't go for the traps so much (only one did, and he was only captured, not killed, so I had to drown him) but by placing small crumbs of the bait near the openings in the ground they "disappeared" in about a week.
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Old 05-06-2021, 03:28 PM   #8
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I've had good luck at our last three houses getting rid of moles with the pellet type baits. Just drop a few into their tunnels in as many spots as possible.

The big box hardware stores generally carry it, or garden centers also tend to have it.
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Old 05-07-2021, 12:58 AM   #9
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Moles and voles are quite different. Moles burrow underground and eat insects, grubs and worms, whereas voles act more like mice and eat mainly grasses and plant material. Voles also live in colonies, whereas moles are solitary.

We prefer snap traps over poison because of the risk to other animals.
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